Focus on Rosh Sirot (boating): Bryan Gerson & Solelim, Magshimim and Shoafim

Bryan Gerson (photo, above) of Toronto, Canada begin his long Ramah career in 1990, as a chanich (camper) at Ramah Canada.  One notorious connection, amongst many, was the relationship he forged with Rabbi Ed Gelb, who was his Rosh Nivonim (aka Alonim).  Bryan served on Ramah Canada Tzevet (staff) after his years as a chanich, until 2001.  He returned to our kehillah (community) in 2012, as Rosh Sport, leading Fitness chugim (electives) and Bryan currently serves as Rosh Sirot.  In his non-machane (camp) life, he teaches all core subjects to 8th graders at a Public School in  Toronto — including English, Math, History and Science.  Bryan’s entire mishpacha (family) is here — his wife Sandra serves as Yoetzet (adviser) for Machon and Nivonim, and his 3 children are all chanichim here.

Bryan is a Ramah “Jack of all trades” and is happy to serve in any capacity.  He is especially beloved by our Voc Ed contingent, and he stops by frequently to visit in their Common Room.  His modus operandi: he has a cookie baked with love by the Voc Ed staff, drinks his coffee, kids around, and is generally a fun and goofy friend to all.  His friendly, natural demeanor has earned him the title “Uncle Bryan”.

Bryan attributes his boating skills to the rigorous Etgar and Sailing programs he participated in as a chanich at Ramah Canada.  When he was in Nivonim (aka Alonim), he served as an Ozer (Assistant) in their Chug Sirot, and literally “learned the ropes”!  Here at Palmer, he is teaching skills such as paddling, steering in each direction, tipping — and righting — the canoe, emergency procedures, and proper care and cleaning of all the equipment.  Most important to Bryan: that the chanichim have fun with each other, along with a sense of adventure and discovery on our Agam (lake).  Being in and around the mayim (water) has been a great pleasure — for Bryan and chanichim — especially during the extreme heat last week.  He and the additional Tzevet Agam (lake staff) work long hours to provide Chug Sirot to our chanichim.  An extra added bonus are the especially peaceful and lovely early morning boating sessions that many tzrifim (bunks) have taken advantage of.  Pictured below are chanichim from Solelim, Shoafim and Magshimim, in Chug Sirot.